Welcome to the new school year

To: The Campus Community

From: Chancellor George Blumenthal

Classes haven't even begun, and already this year is off to a great start: UC Santa Cruz was just named one of the greenest schools in the country, we received high rankings for academic quality in an international assessment, and last week we introduced the campus to Rachel Carson College (formerly College Eight).

To students who are new to the campus, welcome. You made an excellent choice. This university is an extraordinary place to pursue your interests—and discover new ones. You will learn from and work alongside leading faculty. Our setting can't be beat, recreational opportunities are plentiful, and you will make lifelong friends.

I'm delighted to begin the year with two new campus leaders in place: Engineering Dean Alexander Wolf and Arts Dean Susan Solt. They join a total of 39 new faculty who are arriving across all five academic divisions this year, a tremendous infusion of people with new energy, ideas, and expertise.

For those of you living on campus, you have probably noticed that we converted most residence hall lounges to bedrooms this year. Losing these spaces to study and hang out is a hardship. We are moving forward this fall with a proposal to renovate existing housing and add new housing on the west side of campus. Easing overcrowding is a top priority.

Please know that we are dedicated to your success. If you need assistance or support, do reach out and ask for it. Resources are available, and faculty and staff are eager to contribute to your success.

To returning students, faculty, and staff, welcome back. This promises to be an exciting year. Later this month, we will dedicate the UC Santa Cruz Center in Silicon Valley, followed on October 6 with the public dedication of Rachel Carson College.

Naming a college is a big deal; we haven't done it since Porter College more than 35 years ago. Rachel Carson literally changed the world with her insights into the effects of DDT and other pesticides on the environment and her exposé of corporate influence. On this campus--known for its natural beauty and commitment to environmental stewardship--honoring her legacy feels like honoring a kindred spirit.

If you haven't read Carson's book Silent Spring, I encourage you to pick it up. And if you haven't heard about the critical role UC Santa Cruz played in saving the peregrine falcon from DDT-related extinction, much of that proud history is available online; a good overview is here.

This campus is on the move, with much to celebrate. Stay tuned for more good news.